Tis the season for conspicuous consumption and overeating.
Also, welcome the season of family gatherings, togetherness and bonding. Sadly, this is also a time for tension, rudeness and gaffes, feeding grudges, creating new ones and dodging snarky barbs, criticism and other well-meaning but annoying questions and comments from family members.
My audience is pregnant women mainly so if you’re expecting, I know your emotions are on level 100 and tolerance for bull is at -100!
Here are some quick tips I thought of to set you and the kids straight in the manners department and for escaping the family gatherings still loving one another, well, mostly.
Moms-to-be – Bite your tongue, mama! Bite it! If it will help, carry a squeeze ball to torture when you run out of nerves to handle some of the intrusive questions and comments you will get:
- Were you trying?
- Did you want a boy/girl?
- Why did you pick that name?
- So you are sticking with that name (the passive aggressive version)
- Another one?
- This is it right? (the passive aggressive version)
Your Kids- Your children might have heard you talking about Aunt Sally’s no-good boyfriend with no job or Uncle Rob’s arrest or Cousin Barb getting fired for the 3rd time this year. Remind them to not bring any of this up or butt in with an opinion on whatever personal stresses, trauma or gossip they may or may not have overheard you yapping about this year. Trust.
Manners – If you’re hosting, remind the kids of basic manners. You know they won’t remember. Tell the kids to take coats and throw them gently in that pile on the bed when there is no more room in the coat closet. Remind them to say please, and thank you and to share their toys with their cousins and other children coming over. And to play nice and try to stick to the basement. Ha! Just kidding, but yeah.
If you are going over someone’s house as a guest, remind them to not complain out loud about Great Aunt Wilhelmina’s funny smell, or twist up their noses at your cousin’s girlfriends attempt as string bean salad. It’s hard not to wear emotions on your sleeve when you’re staring at raisins in a macaroni dish, but blame the Food Network (in your head) and don’t start any beefs over it.
Dinner Topics: Politics and Religion – Try to avoid both topics especially in these contentious times. If they come up , switch up the convo. Even if everyone in the family are of the same political bent, these are still complex topics that can get heated and go from 0 to 100 Real Quick!
Clean Up – Know when to call it a night and rap up. If you’re a guest, don’t take all of the people’s leftovers in the carryout container you brought with you. Leave them a spoonful or two.
But do offer to do the dishes, or send in one of your older children to help. You’ll still get the credit! ha! If you’re expecting, you’ll probably get a pass anyone on clean up duty because you shouldn’t be on your feet anyway! Yeah, milk this pregnancy for all it’s worth! ha!
If you’re hosting and you had enough, feel free to hug and kiss the last stragglers good night, blame it on the baby and leave them right there and all the dishes for your spouse and kids to clean up. Hopefully, they’ll get the hint and exit after you leave. Ha! That’s not rude. Is it? ha!
I think that’s it!
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